Person: Petrović, Mihailo
Mihailo Petrović was a Serbian mathematician and inventor who worked in differential equations and phenomenology.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Petrović attended the First Belgrade Gymnasium, graduating from that High School in 1885.
- Fishing was not Petrović's only hobby while at school, for he also was very musical and learnt to play the violin.
- Petrović graduated with his first degree from the Belgrade Grand School in 1889 and decided to pursue further studies in mathematics in Paris.
- Petrović travelled to Paris and once there he prepared to take the entrance examinations for the École Normale Supérieure.
- His professor at Belgrade Grand School had been Dimitrije Nešić, who we mentioned above, and Nešić retired at almost the same time as Petrović returned.
- The professorship becoming vacant, Petrović applied but he was not the only well-qualified candidate since Petar Vukićević, a slightly older mathematician who had been awarded a doctorate by the University of Berlin in 1894, was also a strong candidate.
- The competition was very close but Petrović was appointed having received one more vote that Vukićević.
- Mihailo Petrović's study ...
- It was a master's letter, written in rough, unskilled handwriting of a river master fisherman, and signed by the president of the commission, that Mihailo Petrović, a professor, has passed the master's exam for a master river fishermen, and is now certified in the fisherman trade, which the undersigned members of commission recognise and confirm.
- With fishing and music playing such a large part in Petrović's life, one wonders if he had much time left to carry out his job as a professor of mathematics.
- Petrović was asked to write Intégration qualitative des équations différentielles Ⓣ(Qualitative integration of differential equations) which appeared as No 48 in the series in 1931.
- Petrović presented his mathematical work at several International Congresses of Mathematicians: in Paris in August 1900, in Rome in April 1908, in Cambridge, England in August 1912, in Strasbourg in September 1920, and in Toronto, Canada in August 1924.
- As well as being the only Serbian mathematician taking part in the major international mathematics conferences, Petrović was the leader for developing the teaching of mathematics in Serbia.
- We have seen from Petrović's attendance at International Congresses of Mathematicians that he was prepared to travel.
- Petrović is remarkable for documenting all the things he did but, not surprisingly, cryptography is an exception.
- In these documents, it was recorded that Petrović's work and results of that work are to be found in: (a) ciphering methods; (b) methods for "cracking" codes and (c) training in ciphering techniques and cracking of messages that had been coded.
- Petrović was elected to the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków, the Warsaw Scientific Society, and the Romanian Academy.
- Our Faculty, University, our state and this entire country owe the highest accolade to Mihailo Petrović.
- It is difficult to fully enumerate, let alone describe in detail, all the things Petrović engaged in.
- In addition to his interest in various areas of mathematics, Petrović appears in many other, often unexpected fields.
- Petrović is considered by many to be one of Serbia's most philosophy, namely mathematical phenomenology.
- Mihailo Petrović died in Belgrade on 8 June 1943 at his home in 22 Kosančićev venac street.
- Petrović had been drafted as a Lieutenant Colonel in the army, although he was 73 years old at the time, and he was immediately arrested by the occupying German forces spending one year in prison.
Born 6 May 1868, Belgrade, Serbia. Died 8 June 1943, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, now Serbia.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive